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Reflective Writing . Higher English. Titles. Not- Reflective Essay Choose something which relates to your main reflections The Diagnosis/ Just One More Wish / Enlightenment / The Crowd/ Two Blue Lines . Introductions. Must engage the reader

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reflective writing

Reflective Writing

Higher English

  • Not- Reflective Essay
  • Choose something which relates to your main reflections
  • The Diagnosis/ Just One More Wish / Enlightenment / The Crowd/ Two Blue Lines
  • Must engage the reader
  • Do not need to outline what your essay is about
  • Must be stylish
  • Put real effort into using sentence structure/ word choice/ imagery here
  • Consider tone / atmosphere
  • Read the first paragraph of ‘The Crowd’
  • Annotate all effective features of word choice, sentence structure, imagery.
  • Choose one aspect which makes the reader want to read on and explain how it does so.

It was raining. I turned through the dark, deserted streets alone. My feet were soaking and my jeans were saturated as far as my knees so that my legs were numb with cold. Rain trickled down my neck, making me shiver and I shoved bare hands further into the deep pockets of my black canvas jacket. Suddenly, I noticed out of the corner of my eye, a group of youths down a narrow side street. I froze. Had they seen me? Slowly, I crept closer and slid silently behind a bin. No. They hadn’t seen me. I was certain of that. I cautiously poked my head out the tiniest little bit from my hiding place and peered through the darkness.

  • Do not simply consider thoughts and feelings
  • Consider why you felt that way
  • Take a step back from the experience to think about something more deeply
  • Has it caused you to change your views, or think more deeply about anything in general?
  • What has this experience taught you about yourself?
  • What has it taught you about life, death, etc?
  • Not describing how upset you were at a funeral, but considering why we have you funerals; why do we feel the need to mark the passing of a life?
  • Also, what caused you to feel so upset? What did that reveal about yourself?

Before this experience, I had never considered how . . .

  • This made me realise . . .
  • I considered for the first time . . .
  • This sparked a series of questions in my mind . .
  • Looking back at how I acted
  • Find three reflections in ‘The Crowd’ (paragraphs five and seven)

I understood then why a crowd sometimes behaves in a way in which anyone who is not part of it is unable to understand. Crowds are dangerous. They change people. They consume unique individuals and subtly control them. They process the individuals into a homogenous mass. Although I knew that the youths’ behaviour was not justified just because they were part of a crowd, I understood that they were part of a crowd. I understood that they had been unable to escape the clutches of the power of the crowd. I understood why I had been such a coward, why I had chose to deny what I’d seen and run away. I had been scared because, next to the crowd, I was nothing. To challenge the crowd is potentially lethal.

  • Descriptions of events, setting, people
  • These should act as a spark for your reflections.
  • Description of setting should be sensory and include imagery

The atmosphere was tense, almost electric. The sound of the dry drums resounded throughout the barren valley. Everyone was screaming and all over the barbed-wire-topped ex-prison fence were pinned thousands of banners and leaflets creating a beautiful, colourful collage around the Centre. I gripped my mum’s hand as tightly as I could.

  • Highlight all the references to the senses in paragraph two

Smoke from their cigarettes was suspended in the air around like a morning mist. I could see only their vague outlines in the dim orange light. There must have been at least twenty, twenty-five even. I couldn’t tell for sure. One of them, bottle in hand, bent down and picked something up off the ground. He launched the small object, which I assumed was a stone, at the upstairs window of one of the flats which happened to look out onto the dull street. The stone flew undeterred through the icy night air and hit the window with a sharp click. Thankfully it bounced off it and landed safely back on the ground. Next, the entire mob began to pelt stones at the window and eventually, after withstanding an incredible attack, it shattered, scattering hundreds of sharp shards of glass all over the glistening pavement. Anangry, muffled cry could be heard from within the flat and the youths jeered and ran away before anyone had the chance to confront them, or, worse still, identify them.

  • Word choice
  • Sentence structure
  • Sound techniques- alliteration and onomatopoeia
  • Descriptive language
  • Imagery
  • Tone
word choice
Word Choice
  • Precise and effective
  • Words that have appropriate connotations
  • Words that create an appropriate mood
  • Avoid unspecific words
  • Avoid repeating yourself (unless it is for effect)
  • Use precise verbs
  • Use adjectives and adverbs
sentence structure
Sentence Structure
  • Variety of long and short sentences
  • Use colons, semi-colons, parenthesis, questions, ellipsis

Colon: To introduce an example or explanation

  • Semi-colon; to balance related statements/ divide clauses in a more complicated list.
  • The depths appeared shallow: I was unable to see through to the unknown; the world below either stopped abruptly beneath the surface or continued to sink for miles.

Now the only other person for a mile had vanished, fear took control as I sat slowly breathing oxygen, stranded in a cove, off an uninhabited island. I had never felt so vulnerable and alone. Panic enveloped me insidiously. What was I to do? The cold water stared dispassionately, with an unnerving blankness.

  • Use metaphors, similes and personification throughout your writing
  • They are particularly effective for description of emotions and setting
  • Try to use imagery for a particular effect
  • Avoid cliché
  • What effect is the writer hoping to achieve in each example?
  • How effective are they?

The cold water stared dispassionately, with an unnerving blankness.

  • In a world of insecurity and ambition and ego, it’s easy to be drawn in, to take chances with our lives, to believe that what we do and what people say about us is reason enough to gamble with death.
  • At that moment grief overwhelmed me like exposure to a toxic gas: it choked my breathing; it caused my eyes to stream so badly that the world blurred before me; it caused my mind to become an incomprehensible, painful whirlwind; it caused my legs to collapse from under me.
  • Must be strong
  • May return to your introduction
  • May sum up your main reflections

Back on the boat, I sat sipping hot chocolate. When I looked over the side, I saw my crystal clear reflection staring confidently back at me. Gone was the face with depressed with uncertainty. The only doubt about next week’s dive was the water temperature, as today’s physical dive had been conducted in much shallower water than the mental one. The experience had illuminated my character, revealing its strengths and weaknesses. I had been afraid of the unknown and unwilling to deviate from the familiar. However, I had persevered and succeeded in acquiring the ability to scuba-dive. I had emerged from the water having overcome many of these weaknesses and with a boosted confidence in my abilities and a greater idea of myself as a person. In all senses, I had been enlightened.

  • Read the final paragraph of ‘The Crowd’
  • In what ways is it an effective conclusion?

We often see crowds behaving badly in protests, at football matches, even in our everyday lives on the streets and we reassure ourselves that, no matter what, we will never behave as badly as the crowd. We will never become so involved that we will lose complete control over our won selves. Can we really be so sure?